Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has urged his ministerial colleagues to keep their views on government policy “around the Cabinet table” as Liz Truss faces an open split within her top team over the 45p tax rate U-turn.
The senior Cabinet member warned his peers that it is “always better to feed straight into the boss” if there are any issues regarding “policy or the relationship with other ministers”.
On Tuesday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman accused Tory MPs of staging a “coup” against the PM over the 45p tax rate – a policy which was unveiled in Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax-cutting mini-budget last month and reversed last week.
“She chose the words that she chose,” the foreign secretary told Sky News, responding to Ms Braverman’s comments.
“But when you’re in government, you have the opportunity to feed your ideas straight to the top machine. It’s always best done around the Cabinet table or in the Cabinet committee meetings.
“My view is anything to do with policy or the relationship with other ministers – always better to feed straight into the boss”.
Speaking at a Telegraph event at the Conservative Party conference, Ms Braverman said she had been “in favour” of scrapping the top rate of income tax and was “disappointed” by the government’s U-turn.
She also criticised those in her party who had “undermined the authority of our prime minister in an unprofessional way”.
Fellow Cabinet minister Simon Clarke also publicly disclosed his objection to the reversal of the policy.
The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities secretary posted on social media: “Suella speaks a lot of good sense, as usual.”
The tax cut for the wealthiest 1% was one of a raft announced by Mr Kwarteng in his mini-budget less than two weeks ago that led to market turmoil – with the pound plummeting, the Bank of England having to step in to rescue pension funds and mortgage products being withdrawn.
Despite standing by the policy in the opening days of the conference, Mr Kwarteng confirmed on Monday it would no longer go ahead, saying the measure had become a “distraction” from his objective to grow the economy.
Yesterday, Ms Truss told Sky News’ political editor she had “absolutely no shame” in performing the dramatic U-turn.